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The comparison of word level prominence between disyllabic English loanwords in Korean and their English source words in terms of English lexical stress features 


English has lexical stress, which is the culmination of prominence on a specific syllable realized by the acoustic correlates of F0, intensity, duration, and vowel quality. By contrast, Korean is known not to have such prominence on any specific syllable at the word level, yet this issue is still inconclusive. This study aimed to examine whether Korean words have a syllable with prominence realized by any or all of the acoustic correlates of English lexical stress, and if so, whether the prominence is as distinctive as that of English words. To that end, a cross-linguistic comparison was made between disyllabic English loanwords in Korean and their English source words. 20 disyllabic English loanwords and 20 disyllabic English source words were selected as tokens. 10 Korean and 10 American college students read the tokens. The results showed that the second syllables of the Korean tokens had greater intensity and larger F0 than the first syllables, yet the vowels of their first syllables were uttered with greater length than those of the second syllables. By comparison, English tokens showed distinctive prominence on stressed syllables in F0, duration, and intensity. When the two languages were compared, the distinction between the syllables was significantly larger in English tokens than in Korean tokens. As for vowel quality, the study reaffirmed previous claims that Korean does not have reduced vowels and that all syllables are pronounced with full vowels.


, word prominence

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